Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Review: Death Below Stairs (Kat Holloway #1) by Jennifer Ashley

The first full length novel in this new Victorian mystery series with cook Kat Holloway was everything I'd hoped it'd be after reading the teaser of a prequel novella. We learn a little bit more about the mysterious Daniel McAdams, and lot more about Kat herself, and they do not disappoint. The character development was every bit as good as the prequel novella promised, including the new characters. The plot takes us around London and into the countryside, keeping you hooked till the end, as things escalate to royal proportions.

I loved the delicious descriptions of food throughout the story too - they made me hungry. It was interesting to see the author's note mention Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management as a main source of her food descriptions. This book is available for free from several venues, if anyone is curious.

I do think Jennifer Ashley has set herself quite the challenge in making the main character a cook. By Kat's own accounts, she rarely has time for anything other than cooking. She is pretty much constantly cooking or buying food for the next meal she has to prepare. She managed to take a break from it to stay in the midst of the action this time, but going forward, whenever will she have the time for amateur sleuthing? I can't wait to find out.

I recommend reading the prequel novella first. Although I'm sure this could be read on it's own, the prequel is a better introduction to Kat and Daniel's relationship.

Advanced review copy from publisher via NetGalley. My opinions are my own.

Friday, December 22, 2017

Review: The Sword Decides by Marjorie Bowen

This was the only novel I could find based on Joanna I of Naples, which still surprises me because she lived such an eventful life. And extra bonus, it was free because it was written in 1908. The writing was good, especially given the time period it was written in (sometimes older books have a style I don't love), but unfortunately, I just couldn't connect with any of the characters, none of them seemed like likable protagonists. It's a shame - I'd love to see a well done dramatized account of Joanna's life.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Ebook Deals

Click the cover to view and buy the book in the Kindle store. While I only post links to the Kindle store, often times you can find the same titles on sale at other stores.

US Kindle Deals, fiction under $4, non-fiction under $6:


UK Kindle Deals, fiction under £3, non-fiction under £4:


Disclaimer: Ebook prices are subject to change anytime. I can only promise they are under a certain price at the time I post them.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Upcoming Releases

Come from Away by Genevieve Graham 

Release Date: April 24, 2018

In the fall of 1939, Grace Baker’s three brothers, sharp and proud in their uniforms, board Canadian ships headed for a faraway war. Grace stays behind, tending to the homefront and the general store that helps keep her small Nova Scotian community running. The war, everyone says, will be over before it starts. But three years later, the fighting rages on and rumours swirl about “wolf packs” of German U-Boats lurking in the deep waters along the shores of East Jeddore, a stone’s throw from Grace’s window. As the harsh realities of war come closer to home, Grace buries herself in her work at the store.

(Full description at Goodreads)

The Abbot's Tale: A Novel by Conn Iggulden

Release Date: May 1, 2018

In the year 937, the new king of England, a grandson of Alfred the Great, readies himself to go to war in the north. His dream of a united kingdom of all England will stand or fall on one field—on the passage of a single day.

At his side is the priest Dunstan of Glastonbury, full of ambition and wit (perhaps enough to damn his soul). His talents will take him from the villages of Wessex to the royal court, to the hills of Rome—from exile to exaltation. Through Dunstan's vision, by his guiding hand, England will either come together as one great country or fall back into anarchy and misrule . . .

Queen of the North by Anne O'Brien

Release Date: May 31, 2018

1399: England’s crown is under threat. King Richard II holds onto his power by an ever-weakening thread, with exiled Henry of Lancaster back to reclaim his place on the throne. For Elizabeth Mortimer, there is only one rightful King – her eight-year-old nephew, Edmund. Only he can guarantee her fortunes, and protect her family’s rule over the precious Northern lands bordering Scotland. But many, including Elizabeth’s husband, do not want another child-King. Elizabeth must hide her true ambitions in Court, and go against her husband’s wishes to help build a rebel army.

To question her loyalty to the King places Elizabeth in the shadow of the axe.

To concede would curdle her Plantagenet blood.

Bound for Gold: A Peter Fallon Novel (Peter Fallon and Evangeline Carrington) by William Martin 

Release Date: July 3, 2018

Bound for Gold continues New York Times bestselling author William Martin’s epic of American history with the further adventures of Boston rare-book dealer Peter Fallon and his girlfriend, Evangeline Carrington. They are headed to California, where their search for a lost journal takes them into the history of Gold Rush. The journal follows young James Spencer, of the Sagamore Mining Company, on a spectacular journey from staid Boston, up the Sacramento River to the Mother Lode. During his search for a “lost river of gold,” Spencer confronts vengeance, greed, and racism in himself and others, and builds one of California’s first mercantile empires.

(Full description at Goodreads)

Eagle & Crane by Suzanne Rindell 

Release Date: July 3, 2018

When Louis and Harry become aerial stuntmen, performing death-defying tricks high above audiences, they're both drawn to Shaw's smart and appealing stepdaughter, Ava Brooks. When the Japanese bomb Pearl Harbor and one of Shaw's planes mysteriously crashes and two charred bodies are discovered in it, authorities conclude that the victims were Harry and his father, Kenichi, who had escaped from a Japanese internment camp they had been sent to by the federal government. To the local sheriff, the situation is open and shut. But to the lone FBI agent assigned to the case, the details don't add up.

(Full description at Goodreads)

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Upcoming Releases

Promise: A Novel by Minrose Gwin

Release Date: February 27, 2018

In the aftermath of a devastating tornado that rips through the town of Tupelo, Mississippi, at the height of the Great Depression, two women worlds apart—one black, one white; one a great-grandmother, the other a teenager—fight for their families’ survival in this lyrical and powerful novel.

(Full description at Goodreads)

Bachelor Girl: A Novel by Kim Van Alkemade

Release Date: March 6, 2018

From the New York Times bestselling author of Orphan #8 comes a fresh and intimate novel about the destructive power of secrets and the redemptive power of love—inspired by the true story of Jacob Ruppert, the millionaire owner of the New York Yankees, and his mysterious bequest in 1939 to an unknown actress, Helen Winthrope Weyant.

(Full Description at Goodreads)

Gods of Howl Mountain: A Novel by Taylor Brown

Release Date: March 20, 2018

Bootlegger Rory Docherty has returned home to the fabled mountain of his childhood - a misty wilderness that holds its secrets close and keeps the outside world at gunpoint. Slowed by a wooden leg and haunted by memories of the Korean War, Rory runs bootleg whiskey for a powerful mountain clan in a retro-fitted '40 Ford coupe. Between deliveries to roadhouses, brothels, and private clients, he lives with his formidable grandmother, evades federal agents, and stokes the wrath of a rival runner.

(Full description at Goodreads)

The Balcony by Jane Delury

Release Date: March 27, 2018

What if our homes could tell the stories of others who lived there before us? Set in a small village near Paris, The Balcony follows the inhabitants of a single estate-including a manor and a servants' cottage-over the course of several generations, from the Belle Époque to the present day, introducing us to a fascinating cast of characters. A young American au pair develops a crush on her brilliant employer. An ex-courtesan shocks the servants, a Jewish couple in hiding from the Gestapo attract the curiosity of the neighbors, and a housewife begins an affair while renovating her downstairs. Rich and poor, young and old, powerful and persecuted, all of these people are seeking something: meaning, love, a new beginning, or merely survival.

(Full description at Goodreads)

The Home for Unwanted Girls by Joanna Goodman

Release Date: April 17, 2018

In 1950s Quebec, French and English tolerate each other with precarious civility—much like Maggie Hughes’ parents. Maggie’s English-speaking father has ambitions for his daughter that don’t include marriage to the poor French boy on the next farm over. But Maggie’s heart is captured by Gabriel Phénix. When she becomes pregnant at fifteen, her parents force her to give baby Elodie up for adoption and get her life ‘back on track’.

(Full description at Goodreads)
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